If there’s anything to be learned from the pumpkin spice phenomenon (other than just how much sugar Starbucks can pack into a 16-ounce cup), it’s that combining different spices that complement each other can yield delicious results. For instance, pumpkin spice is a mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves, all of which add great flavor on their own but are even better when mixed together.
But pumpkin spice isn’t the only great option when it comes to fall-themed spice combos. This season, try these easy-to-make spice recipes to amplify the flavor in everything from soups and chilis to roasted veggies and oatmeal.
Some call for dried herbs or salts, which aren’t technically spices, but probably live in your spice cabinet. You can make them ahead of time and store them in a jar or just combine the various spices in a single recipe.
CHILI POWDER + COCOA POWDER + CUMIN + CINNAMON
If you make chili, you likely know a little bit of chili powder and cumin together delivers depth of flavor and just enough heat. But, introducing cinnamon and unsweetened cocoa powder to the mix adds richness and an unexpected warmth.
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Use it for: chili, vegetable stew
ROSEMARY + SEA SALT + SMOKED PAPRIKA + LEMON PEPPER
While a simple sprinkle of olive oil, salt and pepper is a standard go-to for roasting chicken or vegetables, try this combo if you want to shake things up or impress guests. Spicy paprika adds warmth which is nicely balanced by the floral notes from rosemary.
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
Use it for: roast chicken, roasted potatoes and roasted winter squash
ALLSPICE + BLACK PEPPER + GINGER + TURMERIC
Turmeric, which is rich in antioxidants, makes a great addition to spice blends. This blend pairs well with savory dishes but it’s also excellent with sweet ones, since the flavor is unexpected without being overwhelming.
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
Use it for: oatmeal, overnight oats, apple pie, grain bowls
PARSLEY + THYME + OREGANO + CELERY SALT + GARLIC POWDER + HOT PAPRIKA
This combination makes comfort food classics like chicken soup taste extra comforting. Try it in your favorite warming soups as the weather gets colder.
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
Use it for: any soup such as chicken, lentil or veggie
CUMIN + CARDAMON + CORIANDER + MUSTARD POWDER + CINNAMON
If you love curry, this mix is similar to what you’ll find in a jar of curry powder but with a few tweaks. Most notably, using cinnamon instead of cayenne adds warmth without spicy heat. Try it the next time you make curry or use it as a rub for large cuts of meat (with a good dose of Kosher salt).
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Use it for: coconut milk- or cream-based curry, pork shoulder, brisket
CARAWAY + FENNEL + OREGANO + ROSEMARY
If you love savory baking — breads, biscuits, pretzels, etc. — try stirring a tablespoon of this mix into your next batch. Caraway is what gives rye bread its flavor, so it’s no stranger to dough. Fennel, oregano and rosemary go the extra mile in making otherwise bland starch taste incredible.
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
Use it for: fresh bed, biscuits, pretzels or sprinkled over eggs on toast